Speedy Byrd Slows Down for College Decision

2011 prospect reflects on college offers, says Terps are right in the mix.

Damiere Byrd, the class of 2011 wide receiver from Timber Creek (Eriel, N.J.) may be one of the fastest football players in the country, but he is taking a slow approach when it comes to his decision for where he will play college ball.

“Right now it's still up in the air,” said the speed demon, who is also a state champion track star. “I plan on waiting. But if the time comes and it's early and I already know where I want to go, then I will make [the choice].” Byrd currently has offers from Stanford, South Carolina, Rutgers, Maryland, and Duke.

The wide-out, who compares himself to Desean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles, saw some time as a running back this past season but still considers himself a wide receiver.

Byrd knows his strengths. “My speed, my knowledge, and learning how to run routes and learning coverage and the defense,” Byrd said. “I need to work on getting off the jam a little bit better and blocking better for my running backs.”

The Timber Creek star says he wants to work on “being stronger and putting on more weight and also keeping [his] speed up and getting [his] hand-eye coordination better” in the off-season.

The right type of coach is important for Byrd. “I want to be able connect with my coaches and for the coaches to see me as a person and not just a product for their program,” Byrd said. “BUT there is no definite type of coach I know I would like, because I know every coach out there is different. To me, as a player, you have to adapt to that coach.”

Academics are also an important factor. “Right now I'm looking to major in sports medicine, so I would want to go to a school that offers that,” Byrd said.

Byrd has been paying attention to how his possible schools have been playing. “South Carolina definitely had a good year, even though they had a couple of losses. Those loses weren't blowouts, they were in those games mostly into the fourth quarter,” Byrd said.

The Terrapins are right in the mix for Byrd. “Maryland is right in the middle. They are a team that is looking to rebuild and looking for players to get that program back to where they were before,” Byrd said. “I've talked to Coach Donovan. Coach Friedgen stopped by my school once. He said they are high on me and definitely want me to come and help them improve. I realize every school is going to have a rebuilding year, and they are in it now.”

Byrd knows what type of offense he will succeed in: the spread. “I line up in the slot a lot. I go in motion and take hand-offs sometimes. It matches me up against linebackers,” Byrd said.

Byrd has visited some schools, and plans on visiting more. “I have visited Rutgers, South Carolina, and Michigan. The stadiums were booming and the atmosphere was definitely high,” Byrd said. “I don't want a really small school, but it doesn't have to be majorly big. I want to go to a school where fans are really big into the school and support it as much as they can.”

Byrd doesn't know where he will land yet, and his decision may not be made for a while. At this point, having Byrd play at Byrd Stadium is certainly a possibility.

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